Author's Notes: Oh yes, another out of the blue story idea from yours truly! Blame it on watching My Best Friend's Wedding and the depressing stories some of my closest friends keep telling me that relate very much to the plotline of this story. Give it a chance! I've been on a writing frenzy with this and already have the first few chapters written out. Spring break is inspiring, especially when I don't have much else to do but sit in front of my laptop all day due to lack of homework :)

I know this has probably been done before, but a very wise and good friend of mine told me, "You're not like everybody else so your version of the story won't be like all the others" and I decided she was definitely right. So, thank you Erica, for always helping me make my jumbled mind up and for once again agreeing to be the beta to yet another one of my stories. You're the best and I freaking love you!

As mentioned, you can thank IcelandGirl812 for persuading me to post this up. I'm telling you, the girl is all sorts of wonderful!

Disclaimer: Stephenie Meyer owns all things Twilight.

A Little Less Than Before

Chapter One;

Her Eyes Say Yes

Full Summary: Some people say the hardest thing to do is watch the person you love, love someone else. Bella Swan learns to deal with rejection the hard way by having to watch the man she loves marry her best friend. Who better to help her out than the provocative best man and brother of her best friend, Edward Cullen? "Your feelings for me are there, Bella," Edward whispered. "you're just ignoring them." E/B

Bella Swan

While I dreamt of you,
you gazed at her.
While I cried alone,
you wiped her tears.
Because while you love her
With all of your heart
My loves goes unnoticed,
and tears me apart.

I love you.
Is it too much to ask of you, to love me too?

I stared down at the ratty piece of paper I had crumpled up and smoothed back to normal so many times. It was worn down, smeared in places where I had cried countless tears debating whether or not it'd be right of me to just hand it to him as if it were nothing more than a simple congratulatory letter. It was so much more than that. It was my heart in the shape of a torn piece of chicken scratched notebook paper that I guarded with my life.

It wasn't much.

But it was all I had to offer.

I couldn't give him fancy clothes, overpriced watches, or even five-star dinners like she could. Not that he needed all that stuff because he was just as down to earth and uncomfortable with excessive amounts of money as I was. It was part of the reason why we got along so well.

And not even a fourth of the reason why I was so madly in love with him.

I could sit and spew every single reason why I was in love with Jasper Whitlock like the lovesick woman I was, fawning over the object of my desire of eight painstakingly long years. If I wanted to, I bet I could write a novel on the story of our lives together. How we skipped our first class together, went to our first real college party together, how we both experienced our first hangovers together.

Basically, we had done everything together for the last eight years. He was the main man in my life for so long and had always been the first one I ever called for absolutely anything. He was there for me when that sadistic bitch, Jessica Stanley told everyone I got it on with Mike Newton in the bathroom in high school. He was there for me when my longtime friend, Jacob Black asked me to have sex with him and I refused. He was even there for me when I got stranded on the road because my old truck couldn't handle a trip to Port Angeles and back to get his birthday present.

He's the best friend I've ever had.

And he's getting married, to the only other best friend I've had in all my glorious twenty-five years of life - Alice Cullen. What's even sadder is that I introduced them to each other. She was in my Political Science class in college and since we didn't know anyone else, we befriended one another. She was just as horrid with the class as I was, so we found our own little ways to cheat here and there. I'd save half the answers from the practice test into my phone and she'd save the other half, and we'd text each other the answers and ended up passing with A's. We took as many classes together as we could after that.

She and I were so different, yet so similar at the same time.

So when I introduced her to my main guy, I never thought anything of it at first. She never looked at him like she felt anything more than friendship, so I never thought to worry about it. Before I knew it, we were the happiest set of best friends in existence. She fit in so well with us that I almost forgot how things were before she came along. Almost, being the keyword. Our previous twosome became a threesome and nothing felt wrong with it.

And then Christmas eve came along, which changed everything. He called me and told me I needed to pick up my early Christmas present. I didn't know why in the hell he couldn't have just given it to me on Christmas day since we usually spent it together anyway. I decided to shrug it off and met him at the Zig Zag café we had spent every Friday night in for the past four years. We all made it a weekly tradition to only drink on Friday nights together. That meant no other alcoholic beverages until all three of us were seated around our usual table. It was Wednesday, and it was Christmas eve of all days, but it was the only day we could meet since we would be with family all weekend.

When I arrived, I suddenly felt so under dressed when I saw him sitting at our usual outdoor table, looking more stunning than ever as he sipped on his usual order of a Deshler cocktail. He had his winter coat buttoned all the way, collar popped up with a cashmere scarf wrapped around the length of his neck to help shield out the cold Seattle winter weather. Everyone always looked at the three of us like we were insane to sit at an outdoor table at the end of December, but it was tradition, so we never cared too much about what people thought.

He smiled that gorgeous smile of his once I made my appearance known and got up to wrap his arms around me, pecking my check softly afterwards. "Hey, Jezebels! Your cheeks look extra pink tonight."

I laughed at his comment and smacked his arm lightly, thanking him when he pulled my chair out for me to sit in. Jasper Whitlock was the only person who could ever get away with calling me Jezebels of all things. It was his joke nickname for me that just stuck through the years. It started when I refused Jacob Black. Jasper said I was a wicked woman for making Jacob fall so hard and then denying him all the same. When I asked him where he even heard that name from, he admitted to watching an episode of Twilight Zone and heard it on there. I think we laughed for hours at his admittance.

I remember once hoping he had given me the nickname Jezebels because if said in a certain way, it sounded like our nicknames put together. Jazz and Bells, Jezebels. See what I mean?

"Alice is on her way now." he said, taking another sip from his glass. "I ordered your usual."

"Thanks, Jasper." I smiled and within minutes, Alice was hugging me close and taking the seat next to me.

"Jesus, it's cold as hell tonight!" she laughed her tinkling laugh. "I'm surprised none of us have gotten pneumonia from how many times we've sat out here and sipped on alcohol!"

We all laughed as Alice and I waited on our drinks so we could begin the weekly chit chat talk we always had. Soon enough, our cocktails were placed in front of us, courtesy of Jasper.

"Alright, I'm not going to beat around the bush anymore." Jasper spoke after another sip, letting a hint of his southern drawl slip out. Yes, Jasper was a southern boy and he was just as great as all the cowboy movies make them out to be. He was chivalrous, funny, and let's not forget gorgeous as hell. I'm sure one too many girls envied the closeness Alice and I shared with him. He set his glass down and reached into his pocket, placing a small black velvet box down in front of me.

Dear god, I think my heart literally stopped at that moment.

I couldn't do anything but stare at it as if I were some kind of man who had seen an oasis in the middle of a desert. I felt like it was all a hallucination that could be wiped away within seconds of a swipe of his hand.

But, it wasn't. And it was still there in front of me as Jasper inched it closer.

"For goodness sake, open it, Jezebels." he laughed. "I'm dying here!"

I held my breath and grabbed it in one hand, knowing everything would change as soon as I flipped the little black box open. If it was what I was thinking it was, I'd jump and scream and let all of Seattle know I was the happiest girl in the world. I looked over at Alice and her eyes were beaming not just for me, but in excitement to see what was in the box.

Jasper knew me better than anyone, even better than her. So I knew right away that whatever was in the box, I'd positively, without a doubt, love to bits and pieces. Both Jasper and Alice eagerly watched as I lifted the top up.


It wasn't what I was expecting, but it was still beautiful nonetheless. I tried to mask my disappoint as best as I could with a huge smile. Key and heart lock pendants dangled from the lovely silver chain as I stared at it in awe. Jasper sure was a sly bastard, using a ring box to put a necklace in. I wanted to smack him across the head for tricking me but I loved the guy too much to do such a thing.

"Do you like it?" Jasper asked, trying to gauge my reaction.

Alice peeked over and beamed even more. "Wow, Bella, it's beautiful."

It really, really was. I smiled and nodded my head, fingering the outline of the two pendants. "She's right, Jasper. It's stunning. Thank you so much."

He shrugged with a lazy grin and watched as Alice helped put it on. "I figured I had to get the two most important women in my life something nice." At that very moment, Jasper slid an identical box to Alice as she squealed in delight. "Aww, Ali, did you think I forgot about my little pixie?"

"For a second, I thought you did, Jazz. Asshole!" She giggled and opened the box with a heartfelt squeak.

"I decided on these necklaces because you both will always be the only ones with keys to my heart."

Goodness, Jasper really was the biggest sweetheart ever. I wanted to be jealous that he gave Alice the same exact necklace he had given me, but I couldn't after hearing the reasoning behind it. He loved us both equally, even though I was sure I loved him in a much different way than Alice did.

Or, so I thought.

"Oh my god." Alice whispered as I turned to her, bewildered at her sudden change of mood. "Oh. My. God."

She carefully pulled the necklace out and I suddenly felt every single part of my heart rip to shreds.

There on the exact necklace he had given me, was something that definitely wasn't included on mine. A gorgeous white gold, heart-cut diamond ring dangled beside the key and lock pendants, sparkling brightly even in the dimness of the moonlit winter night. A ring that nice was definitely not cheap. I don't know how or where he even got the money, but Alice and I both turned to Jasper at the same time. My already shredding heart broke a little more at the sight of him down on one knee because I knew what this meant.

Her eyes were saying yes. Yes to the question I was so desperately hoping he was going to ask me.

My head started spinning and I couldn't hear what he was saying to her anymore. I remember hearing her squeal and him declaring "I'm getting married!" to the entire restaurant that had already burst into applause. I was pulled into a crushing embrace, with the man I was in love with on one side of me and my very best friend on the other.

They were happy. So goddamn happy that I almost wanted to throw up from it. Jasper's heart belonged to her. Not me. And all of a sudden, I didn't want the necklace anymore. I really didn't. I wanted to rip it off my neck and throw it back at Jasper and yell at him for being so stupid the last couple of years. What point was there in me having the necklace anyway? He shouldn't be giving me the "key" to his heart when it so rightfully belonged to Alice now. God, idiot. I hate you.

Not really. I could never hate him.

Jesus, I was so fucking selfish. So bitter over the fact that he wanted her over me that I couldn't even find it in me to be happy for my two best friends.

I wanted to be happy. I really did, but...

I couldn't fight the rush of tears that began overflowing as soon as I realized what was going on. I let them think I was crying in happiness, that I was so overjoyed for both of them that I could barely contain myself. I tried to mask the brokenness within me as Jasper held me tight and kept whispering, "I'm getting married, Jezebels!" into my ear.

Yeah, I freaking know you're getting married.

That's why I'm crying. You blind, wonderful asshole.

It was completely wrong of me to call him that since this was neither of their faults. If anything, it was mine because I kept my mouth shut for much too long. But my heart was crushing and thinking rationally was definitely not something I was capable of in that moment.

Alice cried with me and squealed endlessly as she held me on the cement where I had started crying. Kept proclaiming over and over that she was the happiest girl on Earth.

I bet.

I can't even fathom how much I envied her at that moment. For the first time in my entire four years of knowing her, I hated her too. And I felt so damned guilty for feeling that way, but was so jealous and selfish that in that brief moment of time, I did hate Alice Cullen. Which was absolutely ridiculous, I'll admit, but I couldn't help it. In that moment, I sincerely did.

And then it went away as soon as it came.

Because whether I liked it or not, I loved them both too much to even think of ever hating them for real.

I couldn't take it anymore.

I needed to get out of there.

So with blurred vision and the fakest smile I've ever worn, I excused myself to go home and claimed the combination of the cocktail and weather had finally gotten to me. They smiled and wished me a merry Christmas, leaving together hand in hand.

Of course.

I barely made it through my door before I stumbled to the floor in a heaping mess of tears and agonized groans as my heart broke to pieces. I pounded on the floor with my fist and hugged my knees to my chest, drowned in the deepest waters of denial I had ever treaded in my life. For eight years I was silently in love him. For eight years I pushed boys away because he was the only one I wanted.


Eight years.

Eight freaking years.


My two best friends were getting married. They were the two most important people in my life outside of family.

And I wasn't even happy for them.

Author's Notes: I'm excited about this one guys. And I hope some of you will give it a chance because I mean, I'm REALLY liking this one. Reviews would be greatly appreciated? Let me know you're interested perhaps? I'd love you all forever if you gave me some feedback :)

Pictures of the diamond ring, necklaces, and new banner are up on my profile!

Until next time then!